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Old 08-01-2009, 11:55 PM   #1
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pH Problems!!!

My pH at the tap is 7.2. My pH in the aquarium is 8.6. I did a water change 50% and my poH is now at 8.0. I would like to bring my pH a little lower. Do I keep doing water changes once a week to do this or is there some other way.? I've tried that "pH down" stuff but I find that I have to add allot of it just to bring it down 0.2 on the pH scale. Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:01 AM   #2
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Well I guess, first I would ask what things you have in your tank that are altering the pH by that much. Do you have any rocks/stones or decorations besides gravel and plants?

You may have something causing the pH shift that should be removed immediately. ONce you have removed the culprit, I would do regular water changes 20% daily until you are back in a safe range. Don't shift the pH too fast otherwise you could also shock your tank. Once you are back in a good range continue to do ragular water changes. You likely will not have to worry about the pH much after you remove the problem and stabilize the water.
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:09 AM   #3
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Thanks kaiof for the reply. Here is a little history. I did a fishless cycle about 3 months ago. I introduced fish and half of them died. My ammonia and nitrite levels all check out fine but my pH is high. The only thing Ican think of is the lava rock that I have in there. But it's been in there for 4 months. Does that matter? I like the lava rock and would like to keep it.
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:26 AM   #4
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Any rock could affect your pH, and so you should always test them, and soak them before adding them to your tank. This is also true for dec orative ornaments. Just because it is sold or labeled as aquarium safe doesn't mean you can trust it. Always better to be safe than sorry IMO.
Do a quick test on that lava rock....take some reagular white vinegar if you have it. Put a few drops on your rock. If it foams it will affect your pH and hardness potentially.

You should do this for any stones you add to your tank.
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:05 AM   #5
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I have about a 5-10lb lava rock in my aquarium and it holds at 6.4-6.6 right now so im wondering if it is something else in your tank. Do the vinegar test anyway to be sure. My tank hasnt been established for as long as yours
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:33 AM   #6
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Let some tap water sit in a bucket for 24+ hours and then test it. There are gasses and such that need to escape before the reading is accurate.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:00 PM   #7
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Let some tap water sit in a bucket for 24+ hours and then test it. There are gasses and such that need to escape before the reading is accurate.
Dekz hit the nail on the head. You may find your tap water is this issue. That said you may not even have an issue. My fish thrive (even breed) in my hard water with a pH of 8.2 - 8.4. You may have just lost the fish due to pH shock or somthing else.

When you are stuck with a high pH (from your tap), just check with the store when you buy fish as to what pH they are in. If it's low pH then acclimate them more slowly. Most fish will do fine once they are used to it. As stated before, it's the large sudden swings that's bad for them.

I've learned about pH and these issues the hard way. Now it's a non-issue for me.
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:49 PM   #8
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I think to gradually lower pH some peat moss or drift wood would set you up... I have high range pH... I am planning on getting some driftwood from the lake tomorrow morning.

To raise the pH you can use crushed coral or a sea shell.

It will not solve your problems over night but it will help to stabilize it. I'm just starting to get into the water chemistry but that was teh advice I was given, so just passing on what little I know.
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumpnfishy View Post
Dekz hit the nail on the head. You may find your tap water is this issue. That said you may not even have an issue. My fish thrive (even breed) in my hard water with a pH of 8.2 - 8.4. You may have just lost the fish due to pH shock or somthing else.

When you are stuck with a high pH (from your tap), just check with the store when you buy fish as to what pH they are in. If it's low pH then acclimate them more slowly. Most fish will do fine once they are used to it. As stated before, it's the large sudden swings that's bad for them.

I've learned about pH and these issues the hard way. Now it's a non-issue for me.
100% agree. what kind of test kit are you using?
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Originally Posted by JPKeenan View Post
I think to gradually lower pH some peat moss or drift wood would set you up... I have high range pH... I am planning on getting some driftwood from the lake tomorrow morning.

To raise the pH you can use crushed coral or a sea shell.

It will not solve your problems over night but it will help to stabilize it. I'm just starting to get into the water chemistry but that was teh advice I was given, so just passing on what little I know.
more often then not its better to leave the ph alone. having a steady ph vs a swinging ph is almost always better.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:17 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for your input I appreciate it. Right now I have all my lava rock out of the aquarium. I have it sitting in a large container with it totally submerged in soft tap water. The pH of the soft tap water is 7.4. I tested it 3 hours later and it was still 7.4. The pH in the aquarium is 8.6/8.8. So all I have in the aquarium now is the substrate (1/4" gravel) and a small plant with 3" leaves. I want the pH sitting below 8.0 because the fish that I have in the aquarium (2-Dwarf Gouramis, 2-Mollies, 6-neons, 2-platty's, 3-guppys and a small pleco) thrive in a pH less than 8.0, so I read. My next step that I want to do is remove the plant that I have, do a 40% water change and see if it is the plant that is causing the rise in pH. What do you think?
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